SC Expects Record Turnout

Intense race may make Dems more competitive in general election here
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2008 11:44 AM CST
George Palmer, left, and Joetta Palmer, right, along with their 4 year-old twin children, Justin, center left, and Jasmine, center right, turn out to cast their vote in the South Carolina Democratic Presidential...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Democratic officials are expecting record voter turnout for today’s South Carolina primary because of sunny skies and appealing candidates, the State says. But make no mistake: Dems don’t expect to win the Palmetto State come November. No Democrat has won a Southern state since Bill Clinton in 1996, although party officials hope this year’s race spurs people to the polls and makes the general election more competitive.

“The excitement has been a huge gain for the party,” said Joe Werner, the Dem’s SC chief. Republicans, meanwhile, saw turnout fall about 22% in last week’s primary compared to 2000. The GOP’s SC chairman explained, “The intensity was not here.” It’s a trend Dems hope to exploit: “We’re a little ways away from becoming a blue state,” Werner predicted.